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About Panama Abu Geisha Cascara Washed Lot GW-1214
This coffee arrived vacuum packed via airfreight some months ago and
this is our first offering of Abu's Geisha Washed this season. We just cracked the vacuum seal. 35 total pounds are up for grabs.
Abu Coffee Plantations has been a rising star in the stellar universe of Panama's high end coffee scene, the Geisha capital of the coffee world today. This means that Abu has not yet risen to the very lofty price levels that have been attained by some of the more noted names in Boquete and Volcan Panama, the two growing areas surrounding the Baru volcano: Hacienda Esmeralda, Elida Estate (world record price for both scores and price), Kotowa, Auromar and others. That said, the coffee is fairly valued by comparison, especially for the level of quality. The farm is run by Jose Luttrell, who has been until recent years, a working engineer who has turned his attention to the family farm and the lure of growing and selling Geisha, in particular. We met Jose a number of years ago, tried his coffee and were impressed by it. Being new on the scene, he met with some difficulties learning the ropes regarding export, all of which has since been resolved. In the interim, the coffee has only gotten better and we are pleased to be able to offer both washed and natural varieties this year.
Jose has undertaken a great deal of experimentation and this
lot shows off an excellent outcome. This particular coffee underwent a
complex process which Abu calls "Double Phase plus dry Geisha Cascara
Maceration". That is a complicated way to say that the coffee cherries
were soaked in Cascara from the prior season's Geisha coffee. For those
who may never have tried it, Cascara is the dried out skin of coffee
cherries. When the skins are steeped in boiling water, a tea or tisane
is created. In some cultures, the drink is prized and can be called
other names. Cascara from different varieties of coffee can have
flavors that differ and show their parentage. After, a two step process
begins with fermentation of whole cherries
for 24 hours in open tanks. This first step itself is unusual and
fermentation usually is performed on pulped, aka de-skinned cherries.
But in this case, the whole cherries leave their day of fermentation and
then get pulped and then spend 72 hours in sealed tanks macerating in
the must - juice - made from dry Geisha Cascara. Once removed the
cherries are hand washed in pure mountain spring water, then dried for
15 days on raised beds.
The flavors are really different, combining significant florals with the sweet, geisha "tea" flavors from the Cascara.
Abu Coffee grows the Geisha varietal in the region of Canas Verdes, Boquete, in a humid and rainy microclimate typical of the tropical forest. Coffee trees are grown on the slopes of the Baru Volcano National park in fertile, volcanic soil rich with organic content and excellent drainage, which minimizes erosion. Average altitude is 1550 meters above sea level. The shade protecting the plantation is given by native trees that grow in harmony with abundant local flora and fauna, respecting the environment and biodiversity. Given its strategic geographic location, sunlight is a key element throughout the whole process. The plantation receives powerful solar radiation, interrupted in the mornings and sunsets by a soft tropical mist known locally as Bajareque and caressed by thick fog.
Harvest season begins January most years and extends until March,
months when the humidity drops, which combined with the natural shade
and the Bajareque mist, achieves the perfect balance for the
maturation process. As a result, the cherries develop
fully and intensify the sugars in an optimal manner, enriching the
flavor of the
cup. The virgin rainforests protecting the farm help create a unique
that gives the coffee a distinct body and personality, with intense,
flavor and aromatic floral notes. We cupped this coffee in Panama, with
Jose, in late May.
The farm is named in honor the memory of Jose's granfather and his dream of achieving what he considered the best in a cup of coffee, a geisha raised with the highest standards of quality. Abu is short for abuelo (grandfather in Spanish), the nickname his grandchildren used to call him.
- Region: Boquete, Canas Verdes
- Farm: Abu Coffee
- Variety: Geisha
- Elevation: 1,550 meters
- Shade: 60% by native species of trees
- Soil: Volcanic
- Slope: South of Baru Volcan
- Processing Method: Washed with 2 phase Cascara maceration
- Harvest Method: 100% handpicking
- Fermentation: 24 hours
- Drying Method: 15 days on raised African beds